Kingpin, not Kang, is being set up as the new villain to replace Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He draws parallels in terms of personality and influence. Like Thanos, Kingpin is being built up through various appearances before his official villain debut. He has already had considerable screen time and is confirmed to appear in upcoming MCU projects. Kingpin’s grounded and human threat brings something new to the MCU, offering a relatable villain with similar energy to Thanos. It’s a departure from cosmic threats and adds depth to the franchise.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is setting up a new villain to take Thanos’ place, and it is surprisingly not Kang. Kingpin might seem like just a crime lord from New York City, but he actually draws plenty of similarities to the Mad Titan. The character was first introduced in Daredevil but made his official MCU Kingpin debut in Hawkeye. Wilson Fisk is a powerful businessman and crime lord who has great influence in New York City, as Hawkeye showed how his influence affected characters like Clint Barton and Maya Lopez.

Though Kang is the obvious villain being set up as the Multiverse Saga’s final battle, Kingpin is the one who feels more like a successor to Thanos. There are plenty of parallels between the two characters already in terms of personality and influence. Especially since Kingpin is confirmed to play a role in upcoming MCU projects, it’s safe to say that he will be sticking around for a while and there is time to build up his reign.

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MCU’s Kingpin Build-Up Mirrors Thanos’ Infinity Saga Setup

Though Thanos was always the ultimate threat of the early MCU, he didn’t actually make his proper villain introduction until Avengers: Infinity War. Up until that point, he either made cameo appearances in mid and post-credit scenes or was mentioned by other MCU characters. Despite not making a full-fledged appearance until Infinity War, Thanos already felt established because of all of the Infinity Saga build-up.

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With how the MCU is utilizing Kingpin, he is set to follow a similar trajectory. He has had considerably more on-screen appearances than Thanos already, but he has yet to be hyped up as a proper main villain. Kingpin is confirmed to be in Echo, which will then lead into his official villain debut in Daredevil: Born Again with rumors of him even appearing in Spider-Man 4. These early appearances are effectively building up Kingpin’s legacy until his proper villain debut, just as Thanos was set up for his proper Infinity War introduction.

Why Kingpin Is The MCU’s New Thanos

Besides their MCU trajectories being quite similar, Thanos and Kingpin actually have a lot in common in terms of their actual character traits. They share the same ultimate goal of building a better world, having to do whatever it takes to achieve that. Thanos infamously wanted to erase half of the universe to give a better life to the remaining population. Kingpin wanted to rebuild his hometown of Hell’s Kitchen by tearing it down and rebuilding it free of crime.

However, while both characters have good intentions in a way, they are ultimately corrupted in their methods, which led to them becoming morally questionable individuals. Even in the crimes they committed, their similar personalities shine through. Both are incredibly charismatic when they need to be, which is evident in the influence they have over their followers and how they’re able to take control so easily. They even have a similar strong physical presence which, despite Kingpin not being purple, plays a part in their intimidation of their enemies.

Why The MCU Needs Kingpin As Thanos’ Replacement

In terms of scale, Kang seems like the obvious Thanos replacement, as they are both threats of the same scale. However, Kingpin’s trajectory as Thanos’ replacement not only makes sense but also brings something new to the MCU. Not every huge MCU villain can be some big cosmic threat or audiences will get bored. The grounded human villains always have an aspect of relatability to them that is effective with audiences, such as Zemo and Killmonger. Kingpin may not be a threat to the galaxy, but he carries enough of the same energy as Thanos while still being human.

After Thanos’ reign ended in Avengers: Endgame, Kang started being set up as the Multiverse Saga’s ultimate big bad. However, Kingpin’s appearances in Daredevil and Hawkeye so far put him on a similar trajectory as Thanos’ MCU build-up. He has plenty of similar character traits to Thanos, even down to their supposed goal of making the world a better place. The MCU looks to be keeping Kingpin around for a while, and the franchise will greatly benefit from a Thanos-like threat that is grounded and human.

Key Release Dates

The Marvels

Deadpool 3

Captain America: Brave New World

Marvel’s Thunderbolts

Blade (2025)

Marvel’s Fantastic Four

Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

Avengers: Secret Wars

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